Written by 5:40 pm Dining, Seabourn

Cruise Guide: New Seabourn tea service brewing

By Mike Coleman

Something special will be brewing on the Yachts of Seabourn this fall.

The ultra-luxury line is introducing a menu of more than a dozen rare estate teas gathered from around the world, innovative blends of full-leaf teas with botanicals and fruits, and unique herbal tisanes aboard its three yacht-like ships. Dubbed Seabourn to a Tea, the indulgence features exotic teas, freshly loose-brewed to order, and served to guests during daily afternoon tea service on its three ships.

The un-brewed teas will be presented in corked glass vials in wooden tea chests, allowing guests to savor their unique aromas before an order is placed. Seabourn will provide a descriptive, printed menu detailing the characteristics and ingredients of each brew, as well as its content of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and other elements.

Among the teas and blends to be served include Bleu Peacock, a moderately caffeinated, premium blend of Chinese and fancy Formosa Oolong tea, known for its intense fruity notes, chocolaty aroma and depth of color. Jasmine Downy Pearls is a classic green tea made from the silver tips of tender young buds, gently steamed after plucking and hand-rolled into elegant pearls, then blended with fresh jasmine blossoms. Green Tea Passion is a fragrant blend of delicate green teas from Japan, China and Taiwan, accented by tropical fruits, including guava, pineapple and strawberry.

Scented and fruited black teas include Mandarin Rose Petal, which combines aromatic rose petals and rich, tightly-twisted, black China tea leaves with delicate lychee fruit essence, and Earl Grey Organic, made from high-grown Ceylon and China black tea leaves combined with smoky citrus notes of Mediterranean bergamot fruit. Classic black teas such as English Breakfast Organic, a rich, malty blend of the finest black tea leaves harvested from India, Ceylon and China will be served, as well as Himalayan Peak Darjeeling Organic, carefully selected organic single estate leaves from the Darjeeling region of India.

Tisanes, herbal and fruit blends that do not contain tea leaves but provide appealing flavors and a wide variety of beneficial effects, will also be served. Among tisanes offered on Seabourn’s menu is Chamomile CitronTM, a blend of Egyptian chamomile, citrus, orange blossoms, lemongrass, rose-hips, hibiscus, and mint that brings calm and balance, aids digestion, and is an excellent source of Vitamins B and C. Peppermint and spearmint gathered from Morocco’s Middle Atlas mountains mingle together in Organic Mint Melange, which aids digestion while it refreshes. Ginger Twist helps promote calm and good health with powerful antioxidants from its blend of Australian ginger, orange and lemon slices, lemongrass, wintergreen mint, papaya, apple, ginseng and licorice. The African rooibos or red bush is blended with hibiscus and exotic African fruits in African Amber, rich in anti-oxidants that promote calm and relaxation. Verbena Mint Organic provides a perfect balance of mint with the buttery richness and soft citrus notes of verbena, an especially soothing blend that aids digestion and relaxation.

The line’s sister-ships, Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend, each carry 208 guests. Travel includes complimentary spirits and wines including French champagne throughout every cruise; free massage for guests on deck; gourmet cuisine created by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer; therapeutic bathing selections from Molton Brown and a complimentary shoreside experience on every cruise.

By January 2006, all three yachts will receive drydock maintenance and interior refurbishments. Planned upgrades include the installation of DVD players and flat-screen televisions in all guest suites and improvements in the popular indoor/outdoor Veranda Cafe alternative dining venues.

Through 2007, Seabourn will feature cruises of five to 18 days, or longer, on award-winning itineraries worldwide.

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